From stress, depression and hormonal imbalance, to medications, routine or new technologies, many factors can cause a drop in libido.
Essential oils can be a great help when it comes to stimulating sexual desire, with concoctions for both external and internal use. Available from pharmacies, organic stores or health food stores, Damask rose, ginger, peppermint, cassia and ylang-ylang are all particularly recommended for rekindling waning desires.
Get a sniff of rose
The simplest and most effective way to stimulate libido is with a good sniff of Damask rose essential oil, inhaled at the end of the day, straight from the bottle. This should be done for two to three weeks. Damask rose is a strongly scented flower that's now mainly grown in Morocco, Bulgaria and Turkey. It has soothing but also stimulating properties, and is particularly helpful for emotional problems.
Sip a stimulating tea
The ultimate herbal tea for combatting frigidity or impotence should be a blend containing cinnamon and ginger. To each cup, add one teaspoon of acerola (natural vitamin C) and one drop of peppermint essential oil (for men) or one drop of clary sage essential oil (for women). Clary sage should be avoided by anyone suffering from, or with a history of, hormone-related cancers.
Peppermint is a pain-relieving plant that can be very useful in cases of mental, physical or sexual fatigue. Clary sage targets menstrual troubles such as period pain, amenorrhea, premenstrual syndrome, menopause, etc.
Go hands-on with aphrodisiac massage oil
Nothing is better than a massage with fragrant essential oils to reconnect with your body and arouse sensual signals. Simply mix 1ml of ylang-ylang essential oil, 0.5ml of cassia essential oil, 1ml of ginger essential oil and 0.5ml of mountain savoury essential oil with 30ml of hazelnut oil. Focus on the feet — the tops and soles — as well as the whole length of the spine. Cassia is a naturally "yang" oil that stimulates nerve centres and increases body heat. It's an invigorating, aphrodisiac and uplifting essential oil.
Slip into a sensual bath
Make use of your bathtub, if you have one, by adding five drops of ylang-ylang essential oil, five drops of rosemary verbenone essential oil and five drops of vetiver essential oil to the water. The ideal temperature is 37°C and don't stay in for more than 15 minutes unless you want wrinkly skin. With its floral, sensual and exotic aroma, the Asian flower ylang-ylang has powerful antispasmodic and antidepressant properties, and is a sexual and mental stimulant.
As for food, a few libido-boosting ingredients can be easily added to your regular shopping list. Celery, ginger (root), cloves, thyme and maca powder — Peru's natural Viagra — are all known to stimulate sexual desire. Try adding a drop of ginger essential oil to a yogurt or fruit salad, or to a spoon of honey mixed into a hot drink, before cozying up under the covers.